Tanzania: Zanzibar On Alert As Malaria Scare Rises

A female Anopheles mosquito (file photo).

MALARIA is on the rise in some areas of Zanzibar including the outskirts of Stone Town, authorities revealed here yesterday, appealing to members of the public to seriously observe health precautions.

The Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Programme (ZAMEP) Manager, Mr Abdalla Suleiman, informed journalists at a press conference here that malaria cases had been rising in some areas of Unguja and Pemba, with Urban district leading.

"We must work hard to control the spread highly linked to people who travel to outside Zanzibar and return without checking their status," he said, adding that some fishermen who go to fishing camps had been diagnosed with the disease.

He said about 6,000 people were diagnosed malaria positive last year (2019) up from below the number in 2018 as he also blamed improper or failure to use treated mosquito nets, and filth environment which allows the breeding of mosquitoes carrying the parasites.

"Urban, West A and B, central districts areas identified with malaria in recent survey. The number increased in October and December last year due to rain which caused breeding places for mosquitoes," Mr Suleiman said.

The manager said that the malaria prevalence was still below one per cent, but members of the public must take precautions, which include using treated mosquito nets and keep the surroundings clean to minimize the spread of malaria.

"Our department under the Ministry of Health is taking different measures to stop malaria and remain on track to eliminate it within the next decade. A global malaria campaign 'zero malaria starts with me', is a strong political slogan that needs to be put into practice, ultimately engaging everyone and all sectors in this movement of eliminating the disease," he said.

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